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It should be noted that the tussle for power in electoral politics of Mizoram since the District Council era has been the struggle between two dominant political parties. It should be recollected that the struggle for power in the initial stage of District Council era was between the Mizo Union (MU) and United Mizo Freedom Organization (UMFO). After that, it was a struggle for power between the MU and Eastern Indian Tribal Union; whereas, it turned out to be a struggle for power between the MU and the Indian National Congress (INC) in the last term of Mizo District Council.

The political scene continued to be the struggle for power between the MU and INC in the initial stage of the Union Territory era, however, with the merger of the MU into INC, it turned out to be the struggle for power between the INC and the People Conference (PC) in the remaining terms of the Union Territory politics. In such away, the struggle for power after statehood era emerges as theelectoral battle between the INC and the Mizo National Front (MNF). The reason being, no government has been formed after the statehood era without participation of either the INC or the MNF. It is evident that if political miracle is not happening, the main fight for electoral battle even in the forthcoming election seems to be between the INC and the MNF. There were existence of different political parties in the electoral system even in the past but the struggle for power was always between two dominant parties only. Therefore, one should wait and watch whether political miracle will emerge or the history of electoral politics will repeat itself in Mizoram political system or not?

The normal timing of the ninth general election of the Mizoram Legislative Assembly is in November, 2018 but the timing may only be certain after notification is issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI). At present,the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatya Janata Party (BJP) are the two active national parties in Mizoram political scenario and the recognized regional parties are Mizo National Front (MNF), Mizoram People Conference (MPC) and the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP). Whereas, Peoples Representation forIdentity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) and Zoram Exodus Movement (ZEM) are now emerging as the new regional forces in the forthcoming Assembly election. Both PRISM and ZEM are unrecognized political parties and they are expecting their maiden entry into Mizoram Legislative Assembly in forthcoming election. On the other hand, the Mizoram People Front (MPF), election watch-dog organization, formed by different church organizations and civil societies, already spearheaded the process and activities for conducting free and fair election by signing memorandum of understanding with political parties.

PRISM started its functioning as anticorruption watch-dog since 2006 and it shouldered its responsibilities in fighting against corruptions in the past ten years. It exposed and publicized many hidden corruption issues and filed many corruption cases in the law courts. In reviewing its earlier activities and its fight against corruption cases, leaders of PRISM felt that corruption cases were not effectively pursued by the concerned authority and many of the public grievances, highlighted by them were not properly redressed by the authority. As a matter of fact, PRISM convened General Assembly on 3rd November, 2017 and resolved to transform itself into political party for redressing the grievances of the public and to effectively fight against corruption and corrupt practices. Vanlalruata and Lalrinzuala Chawngthu are President and General Secretary of the PRISM respectively at present. The election manifesto of PRISM comprise of good governance, transparency in governance, effective enforcement of law and order, to fight corrupt practices, to punish persons who are involved in corruption, to take steps for utilization of resources of the state and to take steps for general welfare of people of the state. PRISM prefers to contest the Assembly election without any alliance with other parties and it is confident of winning the poll to implement all its policies and programmes. It should be observed whether PRISM will be able to cause miracle in Mizoram political scenario like what the Aam Admi Party (AAP) has done in Delhi Legislative Assembly election?

The process for formation of the Zoram Exodus Movement (ZEM) began since 18th November, 2015 where 8 senior citizens met at Tourist Lodge, Aizawl which was convened by F. Lalremsiama IPS (Retd) and Ex. M.L.A. The meeting deliberated about the necessity for formation of new political party for reforming electoral politics in Mizoram.

Prof. Jangkhongam Doungel
(Department of Political Science
Mizoram University)

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